To encourage safety belt use in automobiles as well as helmets for motorcyclists, STEA called for a program of incentives -- grants totaling $100 million to states with appropriate laws -- and disincentives -- states that did not mandate usage by FY 1995 would be required to use 1.
Burdick, Chafee, Lautenberg, and Steve Symms, R-Idaho, STEA was clearly Moynihan's initiative.
STEA also incorporated some of Moynihan's pet goals, including a study of reimbursing states, such as New York, that had built turnpikes before the 1956 highway act authorized significant federal funding for the Interstate System; congestion pricing to alter modal use patterns; and promotion of maglev.
In introducing STEA, Moynihan said that the post-Interstate era should be based on three principles that were embodied in STEA:
In addition to sending bureaucrats scrambling to the dictionary -- "fungible" means "freely interchangeable or replaceable for another of like nature or kind" -- Moynihan's statement and STEA sent shockwaves through the highway community.
Under the STEA, national transportation policy is placed "in the hands of city and county bureaucrats.
STEA, she indicated, would help New Jersey and the other states address CAAA's mandates.
Summarizing the views of those who supported STEA, Neil Grey of the Highway Users Federation for Safety and Mobility said, "The attitude is that we've been wrong for 30 years.
He praised some of the innovative elements of STEA but informed the subcommittee that the White House "cannot support legislation that does not include a designation of such a national highway network.
To emphasize the administration's concerns, Secretary Skinner reemphasized the threat of a veto in a letter to the committee on May 22, the day the committee planned to act on STEA.
Later that day, the committee approved a modified version of STEA.